October 13th Newsletter

CEO Business Visits

CEO Guest Speakers

National Guard Teambuilding

Sgt. Meyer

Students had a fantastic day with the National Guard on Monday! The CEO class took time on their day off to work on team building and team dynamics. The obstacle course provided by the National Guard brought out the 'friendly' competition! Sgt. Meyer took time to instruct students in deciphering their personality and developing a team perspective. "Every hand you shake is equivalent to a follower on social media. Learn the power of networking."

Special thanks to Sgt. Meyer, Specialist Bastien, and Specialist Corriveau from the National Guard for setting up and facilitating our teambuilding! 

Business Health

Jim Phelps

"If you go to a doctor, it's for one of two reasons: illness or checkup. Financial reports are used for similar purposes and are a picture of a business' health."

Jim Phelps, Business Manager of Murphy Consulting, Inc, broke down the basics of an income statement, balance sheet, and a statement of cash flow for us on Tuesday. His wealth of knowledge was obvious in his ability to simplify the concepts to teach the students. Jim's work experience includes taking one company from public to private and another from private to public! He has also dabbled in entrepreneurship along the way. 

 As a people person, Jim highlighted the importance of hiring really good people and keeping relationships strong. "I could never have done what I did without other people." By maintaining connections with people and making himself available to work, Jim has built a name for himself. Jim also takes time to give back to his local church, using the financial skills he has acquired. We thoroughly enjoyed having him speak and appreciate his willingness to give of his time.

His reading recommendation: Sticking Points: How to Get 4 Generations Working Together in the 12 Places They Come Apart

Class Business Prep

On Wednesday, seniors took time to begin the immense task of breaking down the class business into smaller, more manageable parts. Juniors were testing, but were able to give input the following day. On Thursday, committees were fine-tuned and marketing ideas were discussed. Once committees were finalized, students spent time creating time lines and to do lists. Stayed tuned to more information! We will unveil the specifics soon!

Cobbleston Hotel

Students were introduced to the world of hospitality by Steve Baggett from Cobblestone Hotel and Suites. He addressed the importance of customer service and the power of a smile. "Make everyone feel like family." When asked about addressing unhappy clients, he explained that you never let a guest leave upset. Word of mouth and online reviews can make or break a business.

As a hotel, cleanliness is of the utmost importance and he gave students tips on what to look for as they travel and stay in hotels. We toured two rooms and the pool area and were impressed at the quality and overall look. One would be surprised the hotel was four years old as the upkeep made it feel brand new. One student remarked, "It's a shame I live so close! I would love to stay here!" But, if you are looking for a clean, friendly and comfortable place for visiting family members to stay, Cobblestone is a great option!

Before we left, Steve mentioned the importance of knowing your numbers. "Spend money as if it's your money and manage the business like you own it." Some of the numbers required to know in the hospitality world are: Revenue Per Room (RPR), Average Daily Rate (ADR), and Occupancy Level (OCC). The presentation was so well done and students walked away highly impressed with both Steve and his staff. We appreciate their time and for giving students breakfast!

You're Invited!


To: CEO Class

When: Class days or Speaker days (See our calendar on

Where: Incubator Building across from the Peoples' State Bank branch

Time: 7:15am-8:45am

We would LOVE to have you!

Student Journal Highlights for this week

I didn’t join CEO to take the easy way out or to do something the simple or normal way. I wanted to do something new, something that will set our class apart from the other class that came before.

Chase Lemke

Chase Lemke
Monday, October 2, 2017Learn More About Chase

Jennifer Vahling talked to us at Midland today. I loved her and would love for her to talk to us again. She was so intelligent and had such a great mindset. She really changed my way of thinking, especially when she said your brain isn’t going to deny what you say; it will just agree. That made me think that I should not be so hard on myself about things and maybe I would improve. A great question she asked: "Based on how you act would you want to be friends with yourseIf?" I really enjoyed her and thought she did a fantastic job.

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Get Involved in CEO

The manner in which the CEO program is funded is critical to its success and sustainability. All funds raised are used exclusively for the Jasper County CEO program. To participate, a 3-year $1000 per year commitment is required. Business Partner Investors commitments of time and energy are also critical to the program's success. Contributions may be tax deductible, as our organization is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization.

When we are not touring local businesses, we need a place to host the class. During that time, the 0 CEO students and their Facilitator would meet at your site where they would also have guest speakers and guests from the community attend. Hosting requires a facility with internet access and adequately accommodates up to 5 people.

We are looking for people to share real-life stories about the concepts of running a business, from strategic thinking, product development to marketing, and cash flow management. Also, sharing your personal successes and failures are what recent classes have enjoyed the most.

If you are interested in participating in any of the above programs, use our contact form to send us a message

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